Increasing Happiness Through Positive Wellness Coaching
Increasing happiness through positive wellness coaching is possible in various ways. This article is going to mainly inform individuals how diet and exercise can increase happiness levels. A small portion of this article is going to be based on mental wellness. Specifically, decreasing stress. Working with a positive wellness coach can increase your diet and exercise patterns. You can also use a health or wellness coach to decrease stress to increase your happiness. So what is happiness? One of the leading researchers on happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky (2008) uses the word “to refer to the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good meaningful, and worthwhile. Academic researchers prefer the term subjective well-being (or simply well-being) because it sounds more scientific and does not carry the weight of centuries of historical, literary, and philosophical subtext2 (adapted from p. 32). However, on a biological level is mainly you can increase your happiness by intentionally. Nguyen (2014) states, “Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins are the quartet responsible for happiness. Many situations can trigger these neurotransmitters, but instead of being in the passenger seat, there are many ways you can intentionally cause them to flow (para. 1). This article is about how certain foods, exercises, and activities you can do to purposefully increase this quartet.
Increasing Happiness Through Your Diet
There are many ways to increase your happiness through the food you eat. When I refer to diet, what I mean is literally the food you consume. Most people think of some type of strict fast or real strict eating patterns in a specific time frame. I reference that more as a program. This section is about informing each reader what the benefits of eating healthy are. I will reference to another source that will go into a larger detail of the benefits of each food.
Eating a healthy diet is important because there are specific foods that do specific things in your body because of the nutrients and vitamins that are condensed within. Some foods will increase your energy. Others will increase mood and memory. While others may decrease anxiety and depression. And believe it or not, some will increase your happiness. It is important to have a variety of these in your diet constantly to maintain your health.
“Happiness Foods” (n.d.) gives a lot more information than I will but I summed up their page:
“Mussels contain B12 that keep your brain sharp and brain cells insulated. Most leafy greens contain magnesium which increases energy levels. Dark chocolate improves blood flow. Grass fed beef increases mood stability and memory. Greek yogurt decreases anxiety, depression, irritability, and repairs memory. It also releases neurotransmitters that make your brain feel good. Asparagus increases serotonin and fights depression. Honey reduces inflammation and decreases depression. Cherry tomatoes also decrease depression while helps insulate brain cells. Eggs increase energy levels and are full of protein which helps a person feel full longer. Coconut keeps the brain healthy and increases mood. Eating red peppers improves the immune system and mood while decreasing cold symptoms. Pumpkin seeds increase a person’s serotonin levels and decrease depression. Chamomile tea helps people sleep and improves cognitive functioning. Dark berries and fruits are comprised of high levels of vitamin C which increase energy levels. Canola oil increases brain functioning.”
Others like certain types of fish have high levels omegas in them which fight against depression. Other types of foods such as “almonds, avocados, bananas, chicken, coffee, green, tea and yogurt” that are high in tyrosine. Of the chemicals that make up dopamine, none are more important that tyrosine. In fact, tyrosine is considered the building block of dopamine” (adapted from Gardner, 2016, para. 22).
Increasing Your Happiness Through Exercising
Exercising is a great way to increase your happiness levels. A person can do this by many ways. One way is by increasing your levels of oxytocin. One way to increase oxytocin is by walking. Another way to increase oxytocin is to spend time with good friends. Social bonding, laughter, and being with ones that you trust are all ways to increase oxytocin levels. A simple way to increase happiness is to by walking with good friends. Another way to increase happiness through exercising is purposely in engaging in activities that increase dopamine levels. This can be done by trying to exercises, walking new paths, listening to music. A person also increases his or her endorphins when exercising. WebMD (n.d). states, “When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to morphine” (adapted from para. 2 & 3). Lastly, a great a way to build happiness is through setting and tracking goals. Not only does this build dopamine, it helps boost confidence and self-esteem. Setting and achieving small goals that are a part of a larger goal feels amazing to accomplish. Especially, when it is working hard during exercising.
Increasing Your Mental Well-being
There are many things an individual can do to enhance their mental well-being. One is to know that you cannot achieve everything and be everything to everybody. Holding high standards for yourself is great, but not when it cost your emotional well-being. I know when I set and meet make goals, I feel bad about myself when I do not achieve them like I hoped. Another thing a person can do is take time for oneself. Even the smallest amount of time to recoup is beneficial to keep your happiness. Third, a person can learn to take deep breaths to increase one’s happiness. Baginski (n.d.) states, “Deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which guides the body from stress to relaxation. When we’re relaxed, our heart rate and blood pressure lower, we sweat less and digestion improves” (para. 6). Lastly, I will mention meditation can increase a person’s happiness levels. Gardner (2016) will sum this up by stating, “Meditation can be a highly effective form of dopamine increase if done properly, as it can weed out the mental influences which may be causing your chemistry to be less than desired. With the intent of reaching a stat of self-fulfillment, meditation clears out the mental clutter and replaces it with presence and fulfillment for just being alive” (as cited on para. 31).
How Positive Wellness Coaching Increases Happiness
A person can seek positive wellness coaching to seek happiness in many ways. This article was to inform you on how the food individual eats can enhance one’s happiness through the nutrients they provide. I also wrote about how walking and exercising can increase levels of happiness. Lastly, I provided multiple ways to increase your happiness levels through specific activities you can employ in your life. It is up to each person to define what makes him or happy. Positive wellness coaching’s foundation is based on seeing where an individual is at today and where they want to be in their future. A wellness coach will work with an individual to strategically map out a plan with their client to achieve success. Mainly individuals seek positive wellness coaching to achieve weight loss. However, this article should have provided other ways that individuals can increase their wellness in coaching which doesn’t have to be weight loss specific. It can be simply changing his or her life routine to increase better-eating patterns and pick up exercising in their life. It can also be about strengthening mental fortitude while decreasing stresses. In positive wellness coaching, the client decides what that measurement of success are. The coach will be there to re-adjust and help tweak the plan accordingly as they go.
10 Positive Wellness Coaching Questions to Increase Happiness
What does your diet look like at the moment?
How does your food make you feel?
What are the health benefits of the diet you eat?
What foods do you want to increase eating that will increase your happiness on a molecular level?
Do you engage in any exercises that make you happy?
Why do these exercises make you happy?
What exercises do you want to add to your routine that you think will increase your happiness?
Do you have too much in your schedule at the moment to include any more task that may bring your happiness?
How do you relax in moments of stress?
How much time do you set aside for yourself to recoup or meditate per day?
Baginski, C. (n.d.). How your breath can influence your happiness [blog file]. Retrieved from https://www.doyouyoga.com/how-your-breath-can-influence-your-happiness/
Gardner, S. (2016). 10 Ways you can increase dopamine levels in the brain without medication [blog file]. Retrieved from http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/01/20/10-ways-to-increase-dopamine-levels-in-the-brain/
“Happiness Foods.” (n.d.) 16 Instant happiness foods – discovered! [blog file]. Retrieved from http://www.eatthis.com/instant-happiness-foods
Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. London, UK: Penguin Books.
Nguyen, T. (2014). Hacking into your happy chemicals: Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, & oxytocin [blog file] Retrieved from http://theutopianlife.com/2014/10/14/hacking-into-your-happy-chemicals-dopamine-serotonin-endorphins-oxytocin/
“Time to get Healthy.” (2015). Diet to protect you from alzheimer’s desires – a comprehensive guide [blog file]. Retrieved from http://www.thetipz.net/diet-protect-alzheimers-disease-comprehensive-guide/
WebMD. (n.d.). Exercise and depression [blog file]. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression#1-4